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BGII and Torment NPC Conversion Notes

Mazzy: But it's not likely that the gods are going to revamp the halflings and come out with a "third edition," as it were, now is it?
Aerie: Oh, you never know. The gods do strange things, sometimes.

As you are all aware, the characters in BGII and Torment were designed with a modified AD&D Second Edition system. The conversions here are to take the character concepts and make them useable as NPCs (or perhaps even PCs) in the table-top Dungeons and Dragons 3.5 game. Obviously, because the systems are different, the characters are not going to be exactly identical or be able to do things exactly as they could in the original games (sometimes they can now do things they couldn't before, and vice versa). Moreover, since these are converted for table-top play, where role-playing and character background (should) play a much higher role in game and story development, the characters were also written up with such things in mind.

By no means do I expect anyone to take my list of conversions as the "correct" or only way to convert these characters to 3.5–we all played the CRPGs differently, after all. I post these as suggestions and bases for people to work off of, and to provide templates for DMs who do not want to or do not have the time to do these conversions completely from scratch.

To keep things simple for all users' reference, I only used the 3.5 Core Rulebooks and, in the case of the BGII Characters, the Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting as a source for abilities.

I made all characters 15th Level or Effective Character Level, taking into account racial adjustments for certain characters. I realize by the end of the games, the characters were usually much higher level than that (even taking into account converting from the old system to new). My reasons for doing this include:

  1. For DMs who do want the NPCs at a higher level, it provides adequate room for customization regarding the adding of prestige classes or epic levels. This way they don't have to start from scratch but still have space to work with to make the characters as powerful as they like.
  2. 15th is a sufficient power level for an NPC (or PC) in many games as is–especially for DMs or players not comfortable working with Epic-Level characters
  3. If these games had been table-top modules, it'd be unlikely they'd have gained as much XP or had as many fights as in the CRPG (unless the DM was a sadist or the troupe power-gamers)–especially since many of the "XP-Building" side quests had little to do with the main story line and probably would not have been bothered with in a table-top module.
  4. I don't own the Epic-Level Handbook anyway.

I used the stats the characters had in the games, but I also gave them the +1 Ability score/four levels, so overall the characters will have higher stats than in the game itself. I generally boosted their stats where it seemed to make sense either for their class or to fill in some places where the characters were seriously lacking (but also where the character would be most likely would "work" to improve).

I chose skills and feats that seemed appropriate to the characters, combining in both tactical perspectives AS WELL as role-playing perspectives. Some of the characters could be tweaked more for maximum combat effectiveness or what have you, but I tried to compromise between what was effective and what was appropriate for the character and the character's background.

Since multiclassing is MUCH more flexible in 3.5 than in AD&D/BG, I used that to the advantage of the characters and to do my best to accommodate for special abilities or now-no-longer-existing classes/kits. (e.g. I gave Minsc a level of Barbarian for that Berserk ability he had, and I made Valygar a Rogue/Ranger to emulate the "Stalker" kit.)

D&D 3.5 Weapon and Armor proficiencies work differently than in the games, so in some cases feat and equipment possibilities may be a bit different than what the characters used or had available to them in the CRPG. If a character was known for using a particular kind of weapon (such as Annah and her punch daggers), I gave them these items.

All characters are listed with a "suggested item list" which covers some game-specific items the characters might have and also includes "character items" the NPCs owned. For the BGII characters I largely pulled from the BGII Item list in the Versus Books strategy guides–converting magic item abilities to 3.5 Edition versions where applicable. I didn't have an item list for Torment so pulled the items largely from what happened to be in their inventory in my game. The items are "suggested" because some DMs may find the list containing too-powerful items for their campaign; others may feel I haven't equipped the characters powerfully enough. The list basically contains weapons, armor, and a few basic protective or otherwise wonderous items–again, I hope I left room for additions and customization. Since the items are "suggested," I did NOT calculate in the effects the items would have on the characters' abilities or stats.

I also gave appropriate characters suggested spell or domain lists, as appropriate, combining what was available (and useful) in the game with what would be character-appropriate and/or useful to them in a table-top setting.

I threw in a "character overview" for my writing fun and your reference pleasure, summarizing basic background points and reminding the users of what or where the characters most likely have ended up. I realize most of you are going to be fans of these games and are familiar with these characters; just accept these as "cheat sheets," reminders, and suggestions for when stuck. Thanks to the ToB Endings site, which has many of the character endings of the series posted, which helped in my writing the overviews for the Baldur's Gate II characters.

Finally, and apologies for taking so long here: I pulled many of the Baldur's Gate II character quote from David Milward's wonderful collection of NPC interactions, which I got from Sorcerer's. Enjoy!


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All original materials © 2003 R. Pickard